XS ROCK: Tell me about the latest band news? Any new projects coming out, live shows or announcements?
Agostino: We recently signed to the Japanese label Ghastly Music and released our debut album Resilience. Since we also just changed a member we are now rehearsing very intensely to prepare the live activity. We have only two planned shows for now but we are working to tour Europe, maybe in early 2018.
XS ROCK: How long has the band been together?
Agostino: We have been together since 2013. During these years we had some line-up changes but the strong core of the band has grown and strengthened more and more.
XS ROCK: What was your main motivation for starting or being in a band?
Agostino: I guess the love and the passion for music. The whole thing is really uncomplicated. If you love music the first thing you want to do is to be part of the scene, especially when you are a kid. Starting Integral was for me a way of expressing what I like about music and drums.
XS ROCK: What is your music background?
Agostino: As for my background I would sum up saying that I started playing the drums and the snare in the marching band of the town where I used to live back in the ‘90s. Then listening to hard rock and metal and taking several lessons with different teachers defined what is now my background. We have quite diversified music backgrounds in the band, but we basically grew up as rock and metal kids as many do.
XS ROCK: What image do you think your music conveys?
Agostino: Well, to be honest, I don’t think I really know. But I also think this is not so important because each listener can guess his own. If you just try to come up with something that has quality and is original, people will appreciate it.
XS ROCK: What are your immediate music career goals?
Agostino: Our primary task is now to become a well-oiled touring machine. We are starting out our career as a band and we believe that a strong and solid live performance is necessary to be successful. Then of course we will approach the writing process of our second album.
XS ROCK: What are your long-term career goals?
Agostino: I know every young band almost says the same stuff. Obviously touring a lot and making good music: aren’t these the two things every musician strives for?
XS ROCK: Which do you prefer? Writing new songs and recording or playing for a live audience?
Agostino: I don’t prefer anyone of the two. Both writing/recording and playing live are part of the life in a band. If you have a 360 degrees active role in a band you cannot separate these two things and I think one is as fundamental and important as the other.
XS ROCK: What are your songs about? (What specific themes do they cover?)
Agostino: Regarding the themes of the songs in our latest release Resilience, there’s not a real common thread. Maybe we didn’t have our ideas clear enough or (and I like to think so) we were just experimenting. It’s really difficult to have a 100% defined style in a debut album, and I think this affect also the lyrics. To give you just an idea of what we are talking about in Resilience I would say: inner conflict, introspection, art, resilience.
XS ROCK: Do you have any outrageous tour stories from the road?
Agostino: Yeah we surely have. I don’t know if they are worth being told, because it’s always the same thing of alcohol abuse and this kind of stuff. One time we were kicked out from a venue! We are not proud of this indeed and we learned the lesson.
XS ROCK: What’s the strangest request that you’ve ever received from one of your fans?
Agostino: I don’t remember any really strange request. The weirdest thing happened maybe when a man in Poland was using my snare drum as a support to make a joint. That was hilarious!
XS ROCK: Were your parents supportive of your aspirations to play in a rock band?
Agostino: Definitely yes. I have to say I’m lucky because my parents helped and supported my passion for music with all the means they had.
XS ROCK: What are your favorite tracks to play live?
Agostino: Picking up two tracks from Resilience I would say In(Earth) and Mechanical Existence Construction.
XS ROCK: Which band or artist inspired you to perform? Why?
Agostino: In Flames! I went to my first metal show in 2009: In Flames played in Italy after they had released A Sense of Purpose. That show took me into what I’m doing now. Why? I think when you see such a legendary band playing, you just want to be like them.
XS ROCK: If you could design a dream tour for your band, who would be on the bill?
Agostino: I have never thought about this. There are so many great bands around! To make a choice is nearly impossible for me.
XS ROCK: What do you consider your greatest accomplishment so far?
Agostino: We managed to produce and release our first album.
XS ROCK: If you weren’t performing in a band what kind of career do you think you would have?
Agostino: I already have another career. Playing in a band isn’t my only job. I am a mechanical engineer and still studying for the second level degree. I hope to be both a good drummer and a good engineer.
XS ROCK: What type of equipment do you use for live shows?
Agostino: I use a DDrum set and different brands of cymbals and hardware. I have always used Vic Firth drumsticks. Massimiliano uses an Ibanez 7 strings guitar and an Engl amp. Jacopo and Marco uses respectively Sic guitars and basses plus Marshall and Aguilar amps. SIC Instruments is a new Italian brand that makes superb custom guitars and basses.
XS ROCK: What do you think of the current music scene?
Agostino: Music is just the 20% when it comes to be successful, the remaining 80% is marketing.
XS ROCK: For anyone that doesn’t know you, what would they be surprised to know about you?
Agostino: Maybe the fact that I’m Italian. I definitely don’t have the average Italian look and especially when I’m abroad lots of people think I’m from Sweden or Finland. That’s weird!
XS ROCK: If someone had never heard you before, how would you describe your sound?
Agostino: Let’s sum it up again: powerful, impetuous, insolent.
XS ROCK: Is there anything that you’d like to promote or say to your fans out there?
Agostino: Yeah of course! Our debut album Resilience is out and available for streaming and/or purchasing on all the main platforms and on our Bandcamp page! Go there and make us rich!
XS ROCK: Thanks again for taking the time to talk with us at XS Rock!
Agostino: Thanks for having us! It’s been a pleasure! Bye!
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